Proposal for a REGULATION OF THE EUROPEAN PARLIAMENT AND OF THE COUNCIL. establishing the Connecting Europe Facility {SEC(2011) 1262} {SEC(2011) 1263}

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1 EUROPEAN COMMISSION Brussels, XXX COM(2011) 665/3 Proposal for a REGULATION OF THE EUROPEAN PARLIAMENT AND OF THE COUNCIL establishing the Connecting Europe Facility {SEC(2011) 1262} {SEC(2011) 1263} EN EN

2 EXPLANATORY MEMORANDUM 1. CONTEXT OF THE PROPOSAL On 29 June 2011, the Commission adopted a proposal for the next Multi-Annual financial framework for the period : ''A Budget for Europe 2020''. In its proposal, the Commission decided to propose the creation of a new integrated instrument for investing in EU infrastructure priorities in Transport, Energy and Telecommunications: the "Connecting Europe Facility" (hereafter CEF). Smart, sustainable and fully interconnected transport, energy and digital networks are a necessary condition for the completion of the European single market. Moreover, investments in key infrastructures with strong EU added value can boost Europe s competitiveness in a difficult economic context, marked by slow growth and tight public budgets. Finally, such investments in infrastructure are also instrumental in allowing the EU to meet its sustainable growth objectives outlined in the Europe 2020 Strategy and the EU's " " objectives in the area of energy and climate policy 2. This Regulation sets out the provisions governing the CEF. It draws on the work undertaken to prepare the revision of the policy framework in all three sectors (Transport, Energy, and Telecommunications) for the next Multi-Annual financial framework ( ). In line with Article 170 of TFEU, new guidelines are proposed in each sector in line with the CEF. Therefore, the revised Guidelines for Transport, Energy and Telecommunications on the one hand and the CEF on the other hand constitute one coherent regulatory package. In the past decade, infrastructure spending in Europe has been, on average, on a declining path. The economic and financial crisis has, however, brought renewed interest in the need for infrastructure investment. During the economic crisis, targeted investments in infrastructure renewal or construction have been an important part of stimulus and recovery plans at EU and Member State levels, as a way of supporting aggregate demand while ensuring a long term return from money spent. Most importantly, the crisis has shown that infrastructures are crucial for Europe's economic future. A truly integrated Single Market, as the Monti Report indicated 3, would not be possible without a seamless connection between all its component parts. Transport connections, electricity grids and broadband networks are vital for a functioning, integrated economic area and for its social and territorial cohesion. Yet, while regulatory integration advances within the EU and markets become more integrated, most recently in the energy sector with the adoption and entry into force of the third liberalisation package, cross-border physical interconnection is lagging. Missing links exist, notably in the new Member States, creating dividing lines between the centre and peripheries of the European Union and hampering the Communication from the Commission to the European Parliament, the Council, the European Economic and Social Committee and the Committee of the Regions A Budget for Europe 2020, , COM(2011)500 Final. 20% reduction in greenhouse gas emissions, 20% share of renewable energy in EU final energy consumption and 20% improvement in energy efficiency by "A new Strategy for the Single Market at the service of Europe's economy and society". Report by Mario Monti to the President of the European Commission, 9 May 2010, page EN 1 EN

3 further development of intra-union exchanges or the growth of new economic sectors, such as e-commerce. Considerable investment needs have been identified. In the energy sector, the proposed regulation concerning guidelines for the implementation of European energy infrastructurepriorities (hereafter Guidelines for trans-european energy infrastructure) identifies twelve infrastructure priority corridors and areas, four for each sector, electricity, and gas transportation, as well as smart grids deployment, electricity highways and crossborder carbon dioxide networks. Whilst Europe's energy system would require investments of ca. one trillion by 2020, out of which it is estimated that about 200 billion of investment is needed for electricity and gas networks of European importance alone. 100 billion of this total investment should be delivered by the market unaided, whereas the other 100 billion will require public action to leverage the necessary investments. In the transport sector, a Europe-wide core network has been identified using a pan- European planning methodology. This core network with corridors, carrying freight and passenger traffic with high efficiency and low emissions, makes extensive use of existing infrastructure. By completing missing links and alleviating bottlenecks and with the use of more efficient services in multimodal combinations, it will handle the bulk of transport flows in the single market. The cost of EU infrastructure development to match the demand for transport has been estimated at over 1.5 trillion for for the entire transport networks of the EU Member States. The completion of the trans-european transport networks requires about 500 billion by 2020, of which 250 billion would be needed to complete missing links and remove bottlenecks on the core network. For the telecommunication networks, the removal of (digital) bottlenecks which hinder the completion of the Digital Single Market is a key objective. This implies a need for an overall improvement of the whole broadband network and the establishment of digital service infrastructure platforms that permit a coherent digital deployment of European public services. Indeed, these networks, both physical and service-based, are key enablers for smart growth. As part of the Digital Agenda, every European should have access to basic broadband by 2013 and fast and ultra fast broadband by In September 2010, the Commission outlined the steps needed to trigger up to 270 billion of investment required to bring ultrafast broadband to all European households and businesses by In the current circumstances a part of these investment needs will be covered by the private sector. The investment needs for achieving these objectives are estimated at up to 270 billion. However, in the absence of Union intervention, private sector investment is expected to be not more than EUR 50 billion for the period until This results in an investment gap of up to 220 billion. As the social benefits from investment in digital infrastructures by far exceeds the private incentive for investment, focused public intervention is necessary to stimulate the market. The analysis carried out by the Commission services in preparation of this Regulation have shown that while the market and national budgets are expected to play a major role in delivering the required infrastructures through appropriate investment and pricing mechanisms, some investments in infrastructure will not take place or will be delayed far beyond 2020, if the EU does not take action. Therefore, there is a need for a significant contribution from the EU budget in the next Multi-Annual financial framework to ensure that EU infrastructure priorities are actually delivered. EN 2 EN

4 In order to increase the impact of EU budgetary resources, the Commission proposes to tap more systematically into the use of innovative financial instruments to offer an alternative to the traditional grant funding and plug financing gaps for strategic investments. An important feature of innovative financial instruments is that they create a stronger multiplier effect for the EU budget than traditional instruments, by facilitating and attracting other public and private financing to projects of EU interest. They leverage the investment and consequently magnify the impact of the EU budget. Building on the experience of financial instruments under the current financial framework put in place in cooperation with the European Investment Bank (EIB), such as the Loan Guarantee Instrument for trans-european transport networks projects (hereafter LGTT), the Commission proposes to implement a significant part of its interventions within the CEF through financial instruments. In particular, the Europe 2020 Project Bond Initiative 4 will be used as a means of securing investment resources for infrastructure projects of key strategic European interest. 2. RESULTS OF CONSULTATIONS WITH THE INTERESTED PARTIES AND IMPACT ASSESSMENTS 2.1 Consultation and expert advice This Regulation draws on extensive consultation with stakeholders, EU institutions and bodies, Member States, regional or local authorities, social and economic partners, academic experts and international institutions. The results of mid-term evaluations carried out on the programmes as well as a broad range of studies and expert advice were used as input. For the three sectors, the stakeholder contributions raised inter alia the following issues: There is a broad consensus emerging from the consultations on the fact that accelerating the development of infrastructure with European added value requires increased EU support. Stakeholders called for a higher leverage of EU funding towards trans-european networks policy objectives through for instance a greater coordination between different financial instruments, namely the Cohesion Fund and European Regional Development Fund (ERDF), the trans-european networks programmes and the EIB's interventions. Widening the portfolio of available financial instruments is seen by stakeholders as a means to better adjust support to the particular needs of a project, to enable effective project structuring and to attract new investors. The planned Project Bonds Initiative is particularly suitable for larger investments under the CEF. 2.2 Impact Assessment The proposed Regulation has been the subject of an impact assessment concerning possible implementation options of the CEF as a policy initiative, i.e. options concerning the definition of the CEF operational rules. The impact assessment started from the overarching objective of the CEF as proposed in the Multiannal Financial Framework Communication "A Budget for 4 COM(2011)xxx on the launch of the pilot phase of the Europe 2020 Project Bond Initiative. EN 3 EN

5 Europe 2020" 5 to accelerate the infrastructure development that the EU needs to reach the Europe 2020 Strategy's objectives as well as the '' '' energy and climate change targets and drew on the input of stakeholder consultations, and of evaluation studies of current EU programmes providing financial support to TEN development. The main focus of the assessment of impacts of the possible policy options has been the achievement, in a most effective, efficient and coherent manner of two main specific objectives: 1) Increase the leverage of EU funds by defining forms, methods and rules of financing that can ensure maximal leverage in attracting public and private investment for projects with a European and Single Market dimension, in particular priority networks that must be implemented by 2020 and where European added value is most warranted including, where appropriate, those that may take place in third countries; 2) Facilitate the timely delivery of EU co-funded projects by defining monitoring and evaluation mechanisms that reward performance and penalise non-effective use of EU funds. At the same time, the assessment of the policy options had to take into account two associated overarching policy goals of the Union: on the one hand, the achievement of the sector specific policy objectives in the field of infrastructures as defined in Articles 170 and 171 of the TFEU, and on the other hand, the simplification of the EU funding rules by exploiting synergies within and between sectors, to which the Commission has firmly committed itself 6. As these two policy goals are not however fully compatible, finding the appropriate balance between coherence with sector policy objectives and maximisation of synergies was a key principle pursued in assessing the options defining the CEF operating rules. Nine main policy options alternatives were initially considered, starting from the central rationale underlying the Commission's decision to propose the establishment of the Connecting Europe Facility, namely simplifying the existing EU funding framework by drawing on sectoral synergies. The policy alternatives were built on combinations of scenarios corresponding to three basic options for financial rules simplification minimal, maximal and variable (or "à la carte") harmonisation of sectoral rules in the two areas of policy intervention corresponding to the two main specific objectives identified earlier investment leverage and programme implementation. The range of options was thus situated between two extremes. At one extreme, minimum harmonisation of both investment leverage and programme implementation referred to a situation where completely distinct, specific rules and set-ups for providing EU funding support under the CEF in each sector would be established. At the other extreme was the policy option characterised by maximum harmonisation of both investment leverage and programme implementation rules, referring to a situation where the three sectors would have thoroughly common financial rules and programme management set-ups for the use of funds under the CEF. In between these extremes, the remaining options envisaged situations whereby sectors shared certain rules and set-ups whereas other remained distinct and sector 5 6 COM(2011)500 Commission Communication on the Budget Review (COM(2010) 700), on Smart Regulation (COM (2010) 543), and on A Budget for Europe 2020 (COM(2011) 500). EN 4 EN

6 specific, i.e. combinations of maximal or variable harmonisation of rules in one area of policy intervention with variable or minimal harmonisation of the sectoral rules in the other area. The assessment of the impacts of these policy options, with respect to the achievement of the objectives highlighted earlier, has lead to the conclusion that two of the considered options could best ensure that the CEF, by means of its operational rules, would support an accelerated development of infrastructure of EU interest: - The policy option where the harmonisation of rules would be variable i.e. with a number of rules common and a number remaining sector specific in both the area of investment leverage and that of programme implementation would be the best option from the perspective of coherence with all the relevant EU policy goals; - Whereas the policy option where a variable harmonisation at the level of rules for investment leverage was chosen with a maximal harmonisation of rules at the level of programme implementation might prove more efficient from a cost-related perspective. Nevertheless, the second option might have a longer term negative impact with regard to the capacity to respond to sector-specific situations, particularly as regards the programming of funds and which might, in the long run, offset initial cost-savings. It was therefore eventually concluded that a certain degree of sectoral flexibility also in defining the CEF rules in the area of programme implementation would be the best option for ensuring the CEF objectives. The provisions concerning the use of funds under the CEF put forward in the present Regulations have been drafted based on the considerations and conclusions highlighted in the above mentioned impact assessment. 2.3 EU Added Value of the CEF The process of consultation with interested parties as well as the analysis carried out in the impact assessment has highlighted that the added value of the CEF as a common funding framework would be four fold: (1) A common framework would lead to the simplification of the EU legal framework concerning TEN infrastructures funding. It would also ensure a coherent approach to EU project financing across the three sectors. (2) At the same time, a single EU infrastructure fund and financial framework would provide a coherent and transparent approach to EU funding that would offer certainty and would thus have a huge potential to attract more private sector financing. Financial instruments would be available in a centralised and coordinated manner, attracting and improving the effectiveness of the relationship with the private investors and the partner financial institutions. (3) In addition, the progressively increasing interdependency between economic infrastructure projects, networks and sectors would enable the realisation of economies of scale. An integrated EU infrastructure funding framework could allow exploiting cross-sector synergies at project development and implementation level, enabling cost savings and/or more efficient exploitation and higher returns. EN 5 EN

7 (4) Last but not least, a common framework draws on lessons learned and best practice sharing across sectors, enabling thus an enhanced effectiveness and efficiency of EU financing in all sectors. 3. LEGAL ELEMENTS OF THE PROPOSAL Trans-European networks are covered under Article 170 TFEU, which specifies: The Union shall contribute to the establishment and development of trans-european networks in the areas of transport, telecommunications and energy infrastructures. The right for the EU to act in the field of infrastructure financing is set out in Article 171 which provides that the Union "may support projects of common interest supported by Member States, ( ) particularly through feasibility studies, loan guarantees or interest-rate subsidies". Article 172 TFEU specficies that ''the guidelines and other measures referred to in Article 171 (1) shall be adopted by the European Parliament and the Council, acting in accordance with the ordinary legislative procedure and after consulting the Economic and Social Committee and the Committee of the Regions.'' In the Budget Review Communication, the Commission underscored the importance of employing the EU budget in order to "plug gaps left by the dynamics of national policymaking, most obviously addressing cross-border challenges in areas like infrastructure, mobility, territorial cohesion - gaps which would otherwise damage the interest of the EU as a whole." 7 Member States tend to prioritise projects of primary national relevance when planning and funding infrastructure, and these may not always be the same as cross-border projects that carry higher added value for the citizens on an overall EU level. 8 The aggregate expenditure of the EU and the Member States should be efficient, ensure an adequate scale of the investment and promote synergies. The legislative instrument, and the type of measure (i.e. funding) are both defined in the TFEU, which provides the legal basis for the CEF, and states that the tasks, priority objectives and the organisation of the trans-european networks may be defined in regulations. 4. BUDGETARY IMPLICATION The Commission s proposal for the next Multi-Annual financial framework includes a proposal for 50 billion 9 for the period , of which 10 billion earmarked in the Cohesion Fund for transport infrastructure. CEF 40 billion Energy 9.1 billion COM(2010)700, p. 5. See Impact Assessment Reports of revised TEN-T Guidelines, SEC(2011)xxx, of revised TEN-E Guidelines, SEC(2011)xxx and of e-ten Guidelines, SEC(20111)xxx. All figures in constant 2011 prices. The corresponding amounts expressed in current prices can be found in the Legislative Financial Statement. EN 6 EN

8 Transport 21.7 billion Telecommunications/Digital Amounts ring fenced in the Cohesion Fund for transport infrastructures Total 9.2 billion 10 billion 50 billion Experience with the current financial framework shows that many Member States, which are eligible to the Cohesion Fund, have difficulties designing and implementing complex crossborder transport infrastructure projects. Therefore, for the next Multi-Annual Financial Framework, the Commission proposes that while the Cohesion Fund continues to support Member States whose Gross National Income (GNI) per inhabitant is less than 90% of the EU27 average in making investments in trans-european Transport networks and the environment, part of the Cohesion Fund allocation ( 10 billion) will be used to finance transport projects on the transport core network in the Cohesion Fund eligible Member States under the Connecting Europe Facility. 5. SUMMARY OF CONTENTS OF REGULATION 5.1 A single framework for investing into EU infrastructure priorities Past experience in infrastructure financing through TEN frameworks, the EERP and the Cohesion and Structural funds shows that the EU can bring a value added to infrastructures. A consensus exists among stakeholders that in a "business as usual" scenario, Europe might not be able to mobilise in time the investments needed to modernise its infrastructure networks and plug missing links. In the wake of the financial crisis, Member States' public budgets are struggling with the necessary fiscal consolidation. Capital expenditure has often suffered substantial cuts, with spending for infrastructure investment projects suspended or delayed. At the same time, the prospects for stepping up investments from private sources are uncertain. In addition to financing constraints, regulatory obstacles also delay or impede the implementation of needed infrastructure projects. Against this background, the current EU framework for infrastructure funding does not seem adequate to provide an effective response. Funding is fragmented among too many programmes and prevents the full exploitation of synergies between programmes and sectors. In re-designing its funding strategy for infrastructure, the Commission has pursued the following objectives: Ensure cost-effective and timely implementation of key priority network infrastructure in the energy, transport and ICT sectors, as identified in the Energy Infrastructure Package, the White Paper for Competitive and Sustainable Transport 10 and the Digital Agenda for Europe. 10 COM(2011)144 EN 7 EN

9 Maximise synergies between the energy, transport and ICT programmes, so that funding responds to a coherent policy strategy and projects are selected according to clear harmonised criteria. Enhance the EU funds' ability to leverage other public or private funds so that the aggregate volume of resources mobilised is adequate to meet the projected investment needs to 2020; Ensure optimal project selection, follow up and monitoring so that EU funding is well targeted, delivers the highest impact and is spent in the most effective way. The rationale for a common legislative basis for providing financial support in three distinct sectors with different policy framework lies in the opportunity to exploit synergies across sectors, stemming from common issues with regard to the financing of the implementation of otherwise importantly varying policy objectives. The added value of a common framework would be three fold. A common framework would result in a simplification of the EU legal framework concerning TEN infrastructures funding. It would also ensure a coherent approach to EU project financing across the three sectors. As highlighted earlier, the EU infrastructure financial framework is currently fairly complex, due mainly to the number and heterogeneity of the existing EU legal texts. Simplification of rules is one of the keywords of the new approach proposed by the Commission with regard to EU budgetary spending. At the same time, a single EU infrastructure financial framework and fund would provide a coherent and transparent approach to EU funding that would offer certainty and would thus have a huge potential to attract more private sector financing. Financial instruments would be available in a centralised and coordinated manner, attracting and improving the effectiveness of the relationship with the private investors and the partner financial institutions. In addition, the progressively increasing interdependency between economic infrastructure projects, networks and sectors would enable the realisation of economies of scale. An integrated EU infrastructure funding framework would allow exploiting cross-sector synergies at project development and implementation level, enabling cost savings and/or more efficient exploitation and higher returns. Last but not least, a common framework would allow lessons learned and best practice sharing across sectors, enabling an enhanced effectiveness and efficiency of EU financing in all sectors. 5.2 Simplification measures and coherence with existing rules Simplification of rules is one of the keywords of the new approach proposed by the Commission with regard to EU budgetary spending. The common CEF framework results in a simplification of the EU legal framework concerning TEN infrastructures funding. A unique legal text covers EU project funding across Transport, Energy and Digital networks. Though the sectors are technologically/financially/regulatory different there is a sufficient number of commonalities to propose a real improvement with regard to the existing different instruments. At the same time, the proposal spells out specific rules which are necessary to EN 8 EN

10 maintain for the overall aim of the CEF: accelerate and better target the flow of public EU money to important infrastructure projects of EU interest. The current text introduces simplification, in particular addressing the following issues: Alignment of indicators on the Europe 2020 Strategy's objectives Flexibility on budget allocations Centralised management for the three sectors, possibly through implementation via an executive agency. Common funding instruments Common award criteria Common conditions for financial assistance One stop visibility through common annual work programmes - important for sector - and common committee - important for Member States Furthermore, full coherence with current and future Financial Regulation has been ensured. The exceptions foreseen, are either duly allowed for in related legal texts or precedents exist. 5.3 Stronger emphasis on financial instruments The CEF will complement EU direct support with financial instruments in order to optimise the impact of funding. Through the high multiplier effects of financial instruments (e.g. which could be as high as up to 1:15 to 1:20), access to capital for the substantial investment needs will be facilitated. Together with the successful absorption of direct EU support (as experienced in the European Energy Recovery Plan (EERP) and in the TEN-T programme), the increased reliance on financial instruments will contribute significantly to mitigating risks to project promoters and therefire ensure implementation of projects of common interest. Furthermore, the task is to build an environment conducive to private investment and develop instruments that will be attractive vehicles for specialised infrastructure investors. To be most effective, such vehicles need to aim at reducing risk by diversifying the portfolio of potential projects. The maximum diversification can be achieved by targeting multiple sectors across a wide range of countries. This can be achieved most successfully at the European level and on the basis of well-defined corridors and targeted areas of investment. Therefore, most financial instruments should be common for all sectors. However, it is not excluded that some financial instruments may be developed to cover the specific needs of an individual sector. On the basis of analysis conducted in the preparatory phase of this Regulation, the Commission services estimate that while the financial support for broadband would primarily rely on financial instruments, for transport and energy the volume of EU budgetary resources required for financial instruments should not exceed more than 2 billion and 1 billion respectively. These estimates are not to be understood as binding ceilings, since the volume of EU funding allocated to financial instruments will be adjusted every year on the basis of an EN 9 EN

11 assessment of the project pipeline conducted by financial intermediaries (e.g. the EIB in the case of project bonds). 5.4 The Connecting Europe Facility in the context of the next Multi-Annual Financial Framework The Connecting Europe Facility will be an essential element of an EU growth agenda focussed on increasing the EU's long-term growth potential. The Facility will be coordinated with the other interventions coming from the EU budget such as ''Horizon 2020'' and the Cohesion and Structural Funds. As regards the coordination with Horizon 2020, it is necessary to ensure complementarities while avoiding potential overlaps. It is also important that the coordination between the CEF and Horizon 2020 ensures that the research and innovation chain leading to deployment in infrastructure is not interrupted. It is particularly critical at a time when significant technological advances in transport, energy and ICT will be needed to help the EU meet its ambitious Europe 2020 Strategy's objectives. Any support to research and innovation activities through financial instruments will be implemented through Horizon 2020-related financial instruments. As regards the relation with the Cohesion and Structural Funds, the cohesion policy's Common Strategic Framework as well as Partnership Contracts with Member States will be closely coordinated with the policy frameworks in the transport, energy and telecommunication sectors. The respective guidelines will rely on the Cohesion and Structural Funds to deliver the local and regional infrastructures and their linkages to the priority EU infrastructures, connecting all citizens throughout the EU. Moreover, the Connecting Europe Facility will be a centrally managed facility, benefiting from ring fenced amounts for transport in the Cohesion Fund ( 10 billion in 2011 prices). In the allocation of the 10 billion, the greatest possible priority will be given to projects respecting the national allocations under the Cohesion Fund. Moreover, these 10 billion will be reserved for Member states eligible for the Cohesion Fund, and co-financing rates from the Union budget will be set at the same level as the Cohesion Fund. EN 10 EN

12 Proposal for a REGULATION OF THE EUROPEAN PARLIAMENT AND OF THE COUNCIL establishing the Connecting Europe Facility THE EUROPEAN PARLIAMENT AND THE COUNCIL OF THE EUROPEAN UNION, Having regard to the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union, and in particular Article 172 thereof, Having regard to the proposal from the European Commission 11, After transmission of the proposal to the national Parliaments, Having regard to the opinion of the European Economic and Social Committee 12, Having regard to the opinion of the Committee of the Regions 13, Acting in accordance with the ordinary legislative procedure, Whereas: (1) The creation of the Connecting Europe Facility should maximise the potential for growth through the realisation of synergies between transport, energy and telecommunications policies and their implementation, thus enhancing the efficiency of the Union's intervention. (2) A fully functioning single market depends on modern, highly performing infrastructure connecting Europe particularly in the areas of transport, energy and telecommunications. These growth enhancing connections would provide better access to the internal market and consequently contribute to a more competitive market economy in line with Europe 2020 Strategy's objectives and targets 14. (3) The creation of a Connecting Europe Facility aims at accelerating the investments in the field of trans-european networks and leverage funding from both the public and private sectors OJ C,, p.. OJ C,, p.. OJ C,, p.. Communication from the Commission to the European Parliament, the Council, the European Economic and Social Committee and the Committee of the Regions A Digital Agenda for Europe, , COM(2010) 245 final/2. EN 11 EN

13 (4) The creation of efficient transport and energy infrastructure networks is one of the 12 key actions identified by the Commission in its Communication on a Single Market Act 15. (5) The Commission has committed to mainstream climate change into Union spending programmes and to direct at least 20% of the Union budget to climate-related objectives. It is important to ensure that climate change mitigation and adaptation as well as risk prevention and management are promoted in the preparation, design and implementation of projects of common interest. Infrastructure investments covered by this Regulation should contribute to promoting the transition to a low-carbon and climate- and disaster-resilient economy and society. (6) The European Parliament in its 8 June 2011 Resolution on "Investing in the future: a new Multiannual Financial Framework (''MFF'') for a competitive, sustainable and inclusive Europe" stressed the importance of ensuring the rapid execution of the Union's Digital Agenda and of continuing efforts towards reaching by 2020 the targets of making the access to high-speed internet available to all Union citizens, also in less developed regions. 16 The Parliament also underlined that investing in effective transport infrastructure had a key role for Europe to defend its competitiveness and pave the way for post crisis, long term economic growth and that the Trans-European Transport Network (''TEN-T'') was vital in order to guarantee the proper functioning of the internal market and provide important Union added value. The Parliament expressed that it strongly believed that TEN-T should, accordingly, be a key priority in the next MFF and that an increase in TEN-T funds is necessary in the next MFF. In addition, the Parliament emphasised the need to maximise the impact of Union funding and the opportunity offered by the Cohesion and Structural Funds and financial instruments to fund key national and cross-border European priority energy infrastructure projects and stressed the need for a substantial allocation from the Union budget for financial instruments in this field. (7) On 28 March 2011, the Commission adopted the White Paper ''A Roadmap to a Single Transport Area Towards a competitive and resource-efficient transport system'' 17. The White Paper aims at reducting by at least 60% the greeenhouse gas emissions (''GHG'') of the transport sector by 2050 with respect to As far as infrastructure is concerned, the White Paper aims at establishing a fully functional and Union-wide multimodal TEN-T core network by The White Paper also aims at optimising the performance of multimodal logistic chains, including by making greater use of more energy-efficient modes. Therefore, it sets the following relevant targets for TEN-T policy: 30% of road freight over 300 km should shift to other modes by 2030, and more than 50% by 2050; the length of the existing high-speed rail network should triple by 2030 and by 2050 the majority of medium-distance passenger transport should go by rail; by 2050, all core network airports should be connected to the rail network; all seaports to the rail freight and, where possible, to the inland waterway system. (8) The European Parliament in its Resolution of 6 July 2010 on a sustainable future for transport 18 emphasised that an efficient transport policy required a financial framework that was Communication from the Commission to the European Parliament, the Council, the Economic and Social Committee and the Committee of the Regions Single Market Act Twelve levers to boost growth and strengthen confidence "Working together to create new growth", , COM(2011) 206 final. European Parliament resolution 2010/2211(INI) A Roadmap to a Single Transport Area (COM(2011) 144). European Parliament resolution 2009/2096(INI) EN 12 EN

14 appropriate to the challenges arising and that, to that end, the current resources for transport and mobility should be increased; it further considered necessary the creation of a facility to coordinate the use of different sources of transport funding, funds available under cohesion policy, public-private partnerships (''PPPs'') or other financial instruments such as guarantees. (9) The Transport, Telecommunication and Energy (TTE) Council, in its conclusions of 11 June 2009 on the TEN-T policy review 19 reaffirmed the need to continue investing in transport infrastructure to ensure proper development of the TEN-T in all transport modes, as a basis for the internal market and competitiveness, economic, social and territorial cohesion of the Union and its connection to neighbouring countries, focusing on the European added value. The Council underlined the need for the Community to make available the financial resources necessary to stimulate investment in TEN-T projects and, in particular, the need to reconcile adequate financing support from the TEN-T budget to the priority projects which involve relevant cross-border sections and the implementation of which would extend beyond 2013 within the institutional constraints of the financial programming framework. In the view of the Council, public-private partnership approaches should be further developed and supported in this context where appropriate. (10) On the basis of the objectives set by the White Paper, the TEN-T guidelines as laid down in Regulation (EU) No XXX/2012 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 20 identify the infrastructure of the trans-european transport network, specify the requirements to be fulfilled by it and provide for measures for their implementation. The Guidelines envisage in particular the completion of the core network by (11) Based on an analysis of the transport infrastructure plans of Member States, the Commission estimates that investment needs in transport amount to EUR 500 billion in the entirety of the TEN-T network for the period , of which an estimated EUR 250 billion will need to be invested in the core network of the TEN-T. Given the resources available at Union level, concentration on the projects with the highest European added value is necessary to achieve the desired impact. Support should therefore be focussed on the core network (in particular, the core network corridors) and on the projects of common interest in the field of traffic management systems (notably the air traffic management systems resulting from SESAR which require Union budgetary resources of about EUR 3 billion). (12) Within the framework of the TEN-T policy review launched in February 2009, a dedicated expert group was created to support the Commission and look into the issue of the funding strategy and financing perspectives for the TEN-T. Expert Group No 5 drew from the experience of external experts from various fields: infrastructure managers, infrastructure planners, national, regional and local representatives, environmental experts, academia, and private sector representatives. The final report of Expert Group No 5 21 adopted in July 2010 contains 40 recommendations, some of which have been taken into account in this proposal. (13) Experience with the current financial framework shows that many Member States, which are eligible to the Cohesion Fund, are facing significant obstacles in delivering on time complex cross-border transport infrastructure projects with a high Union added value. Therefore, in order Council document 10850/09 OJ L, p.. EN 13 EN

15 to improve the delivery of transport projects, in particular cross-border ones, with a high Union added value, part of the Cohesion Fund allocation (EUR 10 billion 22 ) should be transferred to finance transport projects on the transport core network in the Member States eligible to the Cohesion Fund under the Connecting Europe Facility. The Commission should support Member States eligible to the Cohesion Fund to develop an adequate pipeline of projects in order to give greatest possible priority to the national allocations under the Cohesion Fund. (14) In the Communication on "Energy infrastructure priorities for 2020 and beyond a Blueprint for an integrated energy network" adopted in November , the Commission identified the priority corridors, which are necessary to allow the Union to meet its ambitious energy and climate targets by 2020 for completing the internal energy market, ensuring security of supply, enabling the integration of renewable sources of energy and to prepare the networks for further decarbonisation of the energy system beyond (15) Major investments are needed to modernise and expand Europe's energy infrastructure and to interconnect networks across borders to meet the Union's energy and climate policy objectives of competitiveness, sustainability and security of supply in a cost-effective way. The estimated investment needs in energy infrastructure up to 2020 amount to EUR 1 trillion, of which ca. EUR 200 billion in electricity and gas transmission and storage infrastructures considered of European relevance. Among projects of European relevance, approximately EUR 100 billion of investments is at risk of not being delivered due to obstacles related to permit granting, regulation and financing. (16) The urgency to build the energy infrastructure of the future and the significant increase in investment volumes compared to past trends requires a step change in the way energy infrastructure is supported at EU level. In its conclusions 24 the Transport, Telecommunication and Energy (TTE) Council of 28 February 2011 endorsed the energy corridors as priorities for Europe. (17) The 4 February 2011 European Council 25 called upon the Commission to streamline and improve authorisation procedures and to promote a regulatory framework attractive to investment. The European Council underlined that the bulk of the investment would have to be delivered by the market with costs recovered through tariffs. The European Council recognised that public finance was needed for projects required from a security of supply or solidarity perspective, which were unable to attract market based financing. (18) Regulation (EU) No XXX/2012 of the European Parliament and of the Council of [Guidelines for trans-european energy infrastructure] 26 defines trans-european energy infrastructure priorities, which should be implemented by 2020 to meet the Union's energy and climate policy objectives; sets rules to identify projects of common interest necessary to implement these priorities, introduces measures in the field of permit granting, public In 2011 prices. Communication from the Commission to the European Parliament, the Council, the European Economic and Social Committee and the Committee of the Regions "Energy infrastructure priorities for 2020 and beyond a Blueprint for an integrated energy network", , COM(2010) 677 final. Council document 6950/11 EUCO 2/1/11 OJ L, p.. EN 14 EN

16 involvement and regulation to speed up and/or facilitate the implementation of these projects, including criteria for general eligibility of such projects for Union financial aid. (19) Telecommunications are increasingly becoming internet-based infrastructures, with broadband networks and digital services closely interrelated. The internet is becoming the dominant platform for communication, offering services, and doing business. Therefore the trans- European availability of fast Internet access and digital services is essential for economic growth and the Single Market. (20) Modern, fibre-based internet networks are a crucial infrastructure for the future in terms of connectivity for European companies, in particular SMEs that want to use cloud computing in order to improve cost-efficiency. (21) The Europe 2020 Strategy 27 calls for the implementation of the Digital Agenda for Europe 28 that establishes a stable legal framework to stimulate investments in an open and competitive high speed internet infrastructure and in related services. The June 2010 European Council endorsed the Digital Agenda for Europe and called upon all institutions to engage in its full implementation. 29 (22) On 31 May 2010, the Council concluded that Europe should put the necessary resources into the development of a digital single market based on fast and ultra fast internet and interoperable applications and acknowledged that efficient and competitive investment in next generation broadband networks would be important for innovation, consumer choice and for the competitiveness of the Union and could provide better quality of life through better health care, safer transport, new media opportunities and easier access to goods and services in particular across borders. 30 (23) The private incentives to invest in very fast broadband networks appear to be lower than benefits for the society as a whole. The investment needs for achieving the Digital Agenda objective of providing fast Internet access for all European citizens and businesses are estimated to reach up to EUR 270 billion. However, in the absence of Union intervention, private sector investment is expected to be not more than EUR 50 billion for the period until The resulting investment gap represents a major bottleneck to infrastructure provision, while at the same time the Digital Single Market relies on all citizens to be connected via the infrastructure of the future. (24) It is necessary to develop strong and coherent EU-wide networks for the digital delivery of public-good actions, involving both public and civil society actors at national and regional level, and to this end it is essential to ensure the structured EU financing of the costs of the system and COM(2010) 2020 final Communication from the Commission to the European Parliament, the Council, the European Economic and Social Committee and the Committee of the Regions A Digital Agenda for Europe, , COM(2010) 245 final/2. European Council conclusions on a new European strategy for growth and jobs Finalising and implementing the Europe 2020 strategy, 17 June 2010 Council conclusions on Digital Agenda for Europe th Transport, Telecommunications and Energy Council meeting Brussels, 31 May 2010 EN 15 EN

17 software design, as well as maintenance of a resilient hub for such networks, leaving only incountry costs for national operator budgets. (25) Several methods of implementation are necessary and require different funding rates to increase the efficiency and impact of the Union financial aid, to encourage private investment, and to respond to the specific requirements of individual projects. (26) In the area of telecommunications certain core service platforms which ensure trans-european interoperability will need a higher funding rate from the Union, in particular in the start-up phase, while respecting the co-financing principle. (27) Ensuring cross-border interoperability in the deployment of large scale infrastructure projects, in particular at the level of core services, may require simultaneous procurement and installation of equipment by the Commission, Member State and/or their beneficiaries. In such cases, Union financial aid may need to be allocated to procurements executed by infrastructure providers in Member States, either on their own behalf or in cooperation with the Commission. Provisions also enable multiple sourcing, which may be needed, inter alia, to provide for multi-language arrangements, to ensure security of supply and/or to implement network reduncuncy that is required to eliminate infrastructure network downtime that could be caused by a single point of failure. (28) Generic services in areas of public interest (as core services) are often affected by a strong degree of market failures. Indeed, the areas to be funded relate to public service delivery (ehealth, eidentity, eprocurement large scale deployment and interoperability) hence not commercial by definition at a starting level. In addition, if only core services are funded, the challenge would be to create the right incentives at Member State and regional level to actually deploy services of public interest: this is due particularly to lack of incentive at national level to link national systems to the core systems (hence develop conditions for interoperability and cross-border services) as well as to the fact that private investors would not alone ensure service deployment within interoperable frameworks. (29) The digital guidelines as laid down in Regulation (EU) No XXX/2012 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 31 [INFSO guidelines] identify the process and criteria for financing and also the various categories for investments. (30) Horizon 2020 the future Framework Programme for Research and Innovation will focus among others on tackling societal challenges (e.g. smart, green and integrated transport, and secure, clean and efficient energy, and information and communication technology-enabled health, government and sustainable development) in order to respond directly to the challenges identified in the Europe 2020 Strategy by supporting activities covering the entire spectrum from research to market. Horizon 2020 will support all stages in the innovation chain, especially activities closer to the market including innovative financial instruments. With the aim to achieve a greater impact of the Union funding and in order to ensure coherence, the Connecting Europe Facility will develop close synergies with Horizon OJ L, p.. EN 16 EN

18 (31) The European Union and most Member States are party to the United Nations Convention on the Rigths of Persons with Disabilities while the remaining Member States are in the process of ratifying it. It is important in the implementation of the relevant projects that accessibility for persons with disabilities as mentioned in article 9 of the Convention.is considered in the specification of the projects. (32) The financial instruments to be implemented under this Regulation should reflect the rules provided in Title VIII of Regulation (EU) No XXX/2012 [New financial regulation] and the Delegated Act and in line with best practice rules applicable to financial instruments. 32 (33) Fiscal measures in many Member States will drive or have already driven public authorities to reassess their infrastructure investment programmes. In this context, PPPs have been viewed as an effective means of delivering infrastructure projects ensuring the achievement of policy objectives such as combating climate change; promoting alternative energy sources as well as energy and resource efficiency, supporting sustainable transport and the deployment of broadband networks. The Commission committed in its PPP Communication of 19 November to improving access to finance for PPPs by broadening the scope of existing financial instruments. (34) Even though the bulk of the investment under Europe 2020 Strategy can be delivered by markets and regulatory measures, the financing challenge require public interventions and Union support by grants and innovative financial instruments. Financial instruments should be used to address specific market needs, in line with the objectives of the CEF, and should not crowd out private financing. Before deciding to use financial instruments, the Commission should carry out ex-ante assessments of these instruments. (35) The EU Budget Review 34 emphasised that the norm for projects with long-term commercial potential should be the use of Union funds in partnership with the financial and banking sectors, particularly the European Investment Bank (''EIB'') and Member States public financial institutions, but also with other international financial institutions and the private financial sector. (36) In the Europe 2020 Strategy, the Commission pledged to mobilise Union financial instruments as part of a consistent funding strategy, that pulls together Union and national public and private funding for infrastructures. This is based on the rationale that in many cases sub-optimal investment situations and market imperfections may be more efficiently tackled by financial instruments than by grants. (37) The Connecting Europe Facility should propose financial instruments to promote substantial participation by the private sector investors and financial institutions in infrastructure investment. To be sufficiently attractive to the private sector, financial instruments should be COM(2011)xxx, A framework for the next generation of financial instruments Communication from the Commission to the European Parliament, the Council, the European Economic and Social Committee and the Committee of the Regions Mobilising private and public investment for recovery and long term structural change: developing Public Private Partnerships, COM(2009) 615 final. Communication from the Commission to the European Parliament, the Council, the European Economic and Social Committee, the Committee of the Regions and the National Parliaments The EU Budget Review, , COM(2010) 700 final. EN 17 EN

19 designed and implemented with due regard to simplification and reduction of administrative burden, while with a level of flexibility in mind to be able to respond to identified financing needs in a flexible manner. The design of these instruments should draw from the experience gained in the implementation of financial instruments in the Multi-Annual Financial Framework, such as the Loan Guarantee instrument for TEN-T projects (LGTT), the Risk Sharing Finance Facility (RSFF) and the 2020 European Fund for Energy, Climate Change, and Infrastructure (the ''Marguerite Fund''). (38) While most financial instruments should be common for all sectors, some may be specific for individual sectors. Commission services estimate that while the financial support for broadband would primarily rely on financial instruments, for transport and energy the volume of Union budgetary resources required for financial instruments should not exceed EUR 2 billion and EUR 1 billion respectively. (39) In order to ensure sectorial diversification of beneficiaries of financial instruments as well as encourage gradual geographical diversification across the Member States, the Commission in partnership with the EIB, through joint initiatives such as the European PPP Expertise Centre (EPEC) and Jaspers, should provide support to the Member States in developing an appropriate pipeline of projects that could be considered for project financing. (40) With respect to the conditions for the financial instruments, it might be necessary to add additional requirements in the Work Programmes, for example to ensure competitive markets in view of the development of the Union's policies, technological developments and other factors that may become relevant. (41) Multi-annual programming for support from the Facility should be directed towards supporting the Union's priorities by ensuring the availability of the necessary financial resources and the consistency and continuity of joint action by the Union and the Member States. For proposals submitted following the implementation of the first multiannual work programme in the sector of transport, eligibility of cost should start on 1 January 2014 to ensure the continuity of projects already covered by Regulation (EC) No 680/2007 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 20 June 2007 laying down general rules for the granting of Community financial aid in the field of the trans-european transport and energy networks 35. (42) Due to the high budget needed for the implementation of some infrastructure projects, there should be a possibility to divide budgetary commitments relative to the financial assistance for some actions into annual instalments. (43) Mid-term and ex-post evaluations should be carried out by the Commission in order to assess the effectiveness and efficiency of the funding and its impact on the overall goals of the Facility and the Europe 2020 Strategy's priorities. (44) On the basis of the sector specific guidelines laid down in separate Regulations, a list of priority areas for which this Regulation should apply has been drawn up and should be included in the Annex. In order to take into account possible changes in political priorities and technological capabilities, as well as traffic flows, the power to adopt acts in accordance with Article 290 of 35 OJ L 162, , p. 1. EN 18 EN

20 the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union should be delegated to the Commission in respect of adopting amendments to the Annex. It is of particular importance that the Commission carry out appropriate consultations during its preparatory work, including at expert level. The Commission, when preparing and drawing-up delegated acts, should ensure a simultaneous, timely and appropriate transmission of relevant documents to the European Parliament and to the Council. (45) In order to ensure uniform conditions for the implementation of this Regulation, implementing powers should be conferred on the Commission as regards multi-annual and annual work programmes. Those powers should be exercised in accordance with Regulation (EU) No 182/2011 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 16 February 2011 laying down the rules and general principles concerning mechanisms for control by the Member States of the Commission's exercise of implementing powers 36. (46) Council Regulation (EC) 2236/95 of 18 September laying down general rules for the granting of Community financial aid in the field of trans-european networks and Regulation (EC) No 680/2007 of the European Parliament and of the Council should accordingly be repealed. (47) The financial interests of the Union should be protected through proportionate measures throughout the expenditure cycle, including the prevention, detection and investigation of irregularities, the recovery of funds lost, wrongly paid or incorrectly used and, where appropriate, penalties. (48) Some of the infrastructure projects of Union interest might need to link with and pass through neighbourhood, pre-accession and other third countries. The Connecting Europe Facility should offer simplified means of linking and financing these infrastructures, in order to ensure coherence between internal and external instruments of the Union budget. (49) Since the objectives of the action to be taken, and in particular the coordinated, development and financing of the trans-european networks, cannot be sufficiently achieved by the Member States and can therefore, by reason of the need for coordination of these objectives, be better achieved at Union level, the Union may adopt measures in accordance with the principle of subsidiarity as set out in Article 5 of the Treaty on European Union. In accordance with the principle of proportionality, as also set out in that Article, this Regulation does not go beyond what is necessary in order to achieve those objectives, HAVE ADOPTED THIS REGULATION: OJ L 55, , p. 13. OJ L 228, , p. 1. EN 19 EN

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